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Money and costs

Colones (₡)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated February 21, 2019 12:39PM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm bed: US$8–15
  • Meal at a soda (inexpensive eatery): US$3–7
  • DIY hikes without a guide: free
  • Travel via local bus: US$2 or less
  • Basic room with private bathroom: US$20–50 per day
  • Meal at a restaurant geared toward travelers: US$5–12
  • Travel on an efficient 1st-class shuttle van like Interbus: US$50–60
Top end (more than)
  • Luxurious beachside lodges and boutique hotels: from US$80
  • Meal at an international fusion restaurant: from US$20
  • Guided wildlife-watching excursion: from US$40
  • Short domestic flight: US$50–100
  • 4WD rental for local travel: from US$60 per day

US dollars accepted almost everywhere and dispensed from most ATMs; carry colones for small towns, bus fares and rural shops. Credit cards generally accepted.


Guides Tip US$5 to US$15 per person per day. Tip the tour driver about half of what you tip the guide.

Hotels Tip the bellhop/porter US$1 to US$5 per service and the housekeeper US$1 to US$2 per day in top-end hotels; less in budget places.

Restaurants Your bill will usually include a 10% service charge. If not, you might leave a small tip.

Taxis Tip only if some special service is provided.